St. Paul City Council seeks applicants to early learning committee

A prospective citywide early learning effort will be shaped with support from a new advisory group, which the St. Paul City Council has announced is accepting applications.

The council and city staff will collaborate with the early learning legislative advisory group to assess the viability of a city-run childcare and education program for St. Paul children too young for kindergarten and primary school. The group will investigate available public financing sources and additional funding possibilities.

This summer, the city council was set to decide whether to put a question on the general election ballot that would have funded daycare and pre-K for children aged 3 and 4 for ten years. By asking taxpayers to provide subsidies to providers, the proposed ballot text for the election on November 8 sought to provide free care for 5,000 low-income children by the fourth or fifth year of implementation.

Applications will be accepted until September 11, according to Brynn Hausz, director of Council Operations. By March 26, the new committee hopes to have suggestions for a draft ordinance submitted to the city council. The group will be established by September 28 and will meet in person twice a week on Thursday nights.

The committee’s size has not yet been decided, but Rebecca Noecker, a council member, predicted on Tuesday that she and fellow council members Mitra Jalali and Nelsie Yang would likely serve on it. She also exhorted policy experts, childcare and early learning providers, and parents of young children to apply.

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